Martha’s Vineyard Sharks clinch first and home field advantage

Vineyarder Tad Gold, readied for a pitch against Nashua on August 6. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks simply let Mother Nature do her thing Friday evening, to clinch the first Futures Collegiate Baseball League regular season title in the franchise’s three year history. As the top seed, the Sharks will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which begin Sunday.

Entering Friday’s contest, the Sharks (35-17) held a one game lead over the second place Nashua Silver Knights (34-18), the two-time defending league champion. Because of multiple rainouts earlier in the season, the Sharks were to play only 53 games, while Nashua would play the full 54. As fate would have it, the Silver Knight’s Friday game at Wahconah Park in Pittsfield was rained out, leaving both teams with a 53-game regular season. Thus, with both teams completing regular season play Saturday, even if Nashua were to tie the Sharks in the standings, Martha’s Vineyard would win the tie-breaker because of a 5-1 head-to-head record.

The Sharks will host Brockton tonight (Saturday, August 10) at 7 pm at the Tank and will open the best of three FCBL semifinals at home Sunday, at 7 pm against the winner of a play-in game between the fourth and fifth place teams, likely Old Orchard Beach and Pittsfield. That play-in game will be played in Oak Bluffs, Sunday at 3 pm. The Sharks will be on the road Monday for game two and will host game three (if necessary) Tuesday night at the Tank at 7 pm.

The best of three FCBL championship series will begin Wednesday evening at the home field of the highest seeded team. The higher seed would also host a third and decisive game Friday, August 16, if necessary.